Proof that even careful planning doesn’t constrain a novel…

So I created this lovely six page matrix to track the actions of my characters. I thought I had every possible ramification and consideration under control.

Yeah. Right. I just hit 20k words today.

They’re just getting sneakier about introducing whole new plot threads.

Here, just to tease you and out of context, is a snippet from the 3000-some words I wrote today.


“Montcrief, is this true?” Diana demanded. “Zoë, has he filed Contract on Melanie and Andrew?”

“See it for yourself,” Andrew spat out, flipping a hologlobe cube onto the floor in front of them. The hologlobe shimmered open, and a short clip of Troubadour Security confronting Do It Right Security at the first entrance to the compound played.

“We demand entrance to Do It Right under Contract,” the lead Troubadour Security said.

“Entrance disallowed.” The lead Security bristled. “No Contract filing has been released to us.”

“This is a Concealed Filing.”

“No it’s not.” Sarah identified this Security by voice as Angela Garcia, Melanie’s Head of Security. “Or if it is, it’s highly illegal.”

Is that Nik Morley leading the DIR troop? Sarah studied the clip closer. She could have sworn Morley stood behind Melanie–he was the authorized Courts Security representative from Do It Right. But the leader–no, the Second behind him–moved like Morley. Not Morley, though. Too short, shoulders slightly thinner. She couldn’t see faces through the helmets of course, and ventured a small datastring to see if she could tease an ID out of the clip.

Chaos erupted in the vid, ending with the Troubadour Security team under restraint. Several bodies lay strewn around the entrance, but Sarah noticed they were moving slowly. Stun, not kill, thank God. Montcrief. You idiot.

<Holy Mother of God he did do it,> William speeched. <Idiot. Fool.>

She agreed with William. <Montcrief should know better.>

“Then I demand–“ Diana began.

“Mother. Stop.” Melanie raised her left hand again. “We’re the ones offended against.”

“We demand full sanctions for unauthorized Contract actions,” Andrew said. His voice dropped lower, full of menace. “Or has the Executive Council declared war on Do It Right? Because if it has, then I tell you, I will consider any action you take against Do It Right to be an action against Stephens Reclamation as well.”

Go, kids, go, Sarah thought.

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